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eMarketer Predicts 27.6% Increase in Q4 Online Retail Sales
High-Speed Access, Consumer-Friendly Sites Cited as Primary Drivers

NEW YORK, NY, Oct. 07, 2004 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- eMarketer announced today it expects online retail sales to reach more than $22.34 billion in the fourth quarter, up 27.6% from Q4 2003.

"While today's retail sales announcements are expected to be weak for the month of September, the holiday shopping season will be significantly better than last year for online retailers," said Senior Analyst Jeffrey Grau.

The projection, issued by the firm today, is based on eMarketer's analysis of numerous research and government sources and excludes travel and auction sales. The US Department of Commerce figures, which act as a benchmark for eMarketer's projections, also exclude travel and auction sales from its figures.

In part, the jump from last year's fourth quarter mark of more than $17.51 billion reflects consumers' increased broadband usage, Grau said. Retailers also have an improved understanding of how consumers shop online.

"The medium itself is hitting a maturation point," Grau said. "The experience is faster, more secure and more consumer-friendly."

Many online retailers, including (NASDAQ: AMZN), are running promotions that level the playing field between brick-and-mortar stores and stores housed online. Offers include free or discounted shipping and, among other retailers, the option to return items to a brick-and-mortar outlet rather than mailing them back to a warehouse.

"On the whole online retailers are getting better at doing business," Grau said. "We won't know exactly how successful a season they have until early next year."

About eMarketer

eMarketer, the world's leading aggregator of e-business and Internet statistics, provides objective market projections and analysis to online professionals in more than 140 countries worldwide. eMarketer's eStat Database is the most comprehensive compilation of up-to-date e-business and online marketing statistics in the world. For more information on this report, visit

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SOURCE: eMarketer

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